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Top 10 Duck Breeds For Your Homestead

There are many options available to Homesteaders regarding the various duck breeds. These are the most popular duck breeds most homesteaders consider raising on their farms. While as we mentioned already, there are many other options available, you need to keep in mind that they might not be as easy to take care of or produce as many eggs and/or as good of meat quality as the ones listed above. Let’s get started!

#10 Cayuga

What separates Cayuga ducks from other duck breeds is their magnificent color. Their beautiful feathered body consists of a unique mixture of dark green and jet black feathers.

They don’t lay as many eggs as other duck breeds but they typically do about 150 eggs every year. An interesting fact about they lay these are very unique egg colors. In fact, the shade changes from black to white depending on what time of the year it is.

The only downside here is that their dark feathers can be slightly difficult to clean. We don’t recommend the Cayuga duck breed to homesteaders who aren’t partial to tending and grooming their animals.

#9 Pekin Ducks

The White Pekin duck originated in China and was brought to the western world in the mid-1800s.
Pekins are a creamy white fowl with yellow skin and large breasts. On average, Pekin ducks lay between 200 to 300 extra-large white eggs annually. A Pekin hen typically starts laying eggs when she is five to six months old.
Their fine meat quality and egg-laying ability has made them the first choice of American duck growers. They are one of the easiest domestic ducks to process and prepare for meat production.

#8 Welsh Harlequins

Welsh Harlequins are the ultimate egg-laying duck breeds. If fed and cared for properly, each duck can produce a whopping 330 eggs annually!

On top of that, they have thick, rich meat. It’s not as thick as Rouen duck meat, but it has its own unique range of flavors.

#7 Silver Appleyard

The Silver Appleyard is an excellent beginner duck breed because they are extremely friendly, docile, and mild-mannered perfect for your homestead.

For homesteaders who focused on duck eggs laying numbers, you’ll be happy to know that a Silver Appleyard duck can lay up to 260 eggs in a single year. This adds up to one egg each two and a half days.

It’s also important to note that, Silver Appleyard meat is extremely tasty. They’re quite heavy and stump-like by nature, so as long as you feed them properly, you won’t have trouble using these birds for meat.

#6 Saxony

The problem with raising egg-laying ducks is that some breeds tend to be quite aggressive. This, however, is NOT the case with Saxony ducks.

These ducks are very docile, motherly birds who instinctively know precisely how to care for their offspring. Among the 200 to 250 eggs they lay annually, you can expect at least 90% of them to survive.

The Saxony duck meat is also very flavorful. It’s thicker, leaner, and richer as compared to other egg-laying duck breeds.

#5 Ancona

Whether you’re looking into how to raise ducks properly or just curious about selling duck meat, you can’t go wrong with Ancona ducks. These are definitely one of the best duck breeds for beginners.

Firstly, they’re very docile and calm. You won’t have to worry about your flock of ducks straying far from your homestead or farm.

Secondly, they are prolific egg-laying birds. In fact, one Ancona duck can produce more than 280 eggs annually.

Lastly, their meat tastes great. Like seriously! It has that thick, juicy, and chewy flavor very similar to a Thanksgiving turkey.

#4 Aylesbury

Homesteaders looking to raise ducks for meat without investing too much time and money should truly consider Aylesbury ducks. These pure white ducks originate from England and are extremely docile.

When it comes to taste, homesteaders won’t be disappointed as its white flesh is filled with a rich, unique flavor. The dish won’t taste gamey even if you cook the meat directly after butchering the duck.

What makes them also a great choice is the fact that they can be ready for slaughter in just five to nine weeks. They mature faster than any other domestic breed.

However, the only problem with Aylesbury ducks is they’re very rare. They mature at such a fast rate that farms are slaughtering and selling them faster than they can reproduce.

If you do decide to raise these birds, we highly suggest keeping at least two pairs of parent ducks. That way, you won’t affect the breed’s already low population.

#3 Rouen

Rouen ducks are stumpy-looking, heavyweight, general-purpose ducks primarily chosen for decorative purposes. They’re relatively easy to take care of and are quite attractive. Many cartoon shows even base their wild duck characters off of Rouens.

The Rouen duck is ideal for homesteaders hoping to raise poultry for meat. With every last bit of their bodies overflowing with both lean meat and fat, they’re without a doubt one of the thickest duck breeds around.

Note, however, that these ducks take around six to eight months to mature, so they might not be suitable for poultrymen looking to raise fast-moving poultry products.

Likewise, they are notorious for being terrible egg layers. Rouen ducks are only capable of producing a pitiful amount of 30 to 100 eggs annually.

#2 Indian Runner

Indian Runners are characterized by their small, stump-like bodies and long, gangly necks. They sort of look like running bowling pins.

What makes them one of the best egg-laying duck breeds is their ability to produce more than 250 eggs a year.

Plus, they’re very light and mild-mannered, so it’s highly unlikely for them to crush their eggs.

If you decide to raise Indian Runners, we strongly advise letting them run free from time to time. They are very active birds. You’ll often see them joyfully digging thru the dirt and scavenging for bugs and critters.

#1 Khaki Campbell

In case you’re thinking of raising ducks for eggs but aren’t familiar with poultry management, you can soundly choose the Khaki Campbell duck breed. These are exquisite, easygoing, domestic birds known for being among the most productive egg-laying duck breeds!

Truth be told, one Khaki Campbell can lay in excess of 300 eggs a year. That implies you’re ensured to get in any event one egg each and every other day!

Aside from their capacity to lay eggs routinely, they’re likewise exceptionally devoted and mild. These birds are quite mindful in nature so homesteaders will not experience difficulty getting their ducks to sit on their eggs.

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